Definition of diaspora in English:

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Pronunciation: /dīˈaspərə/


(often the Diaspora)
1Jews living outside Israel.
Example sentences
  • Even if, as Sharon postulates, there is a further incoming of 1 million Jews from the diaspora, there is an inevitability about population trends which would threaten the very existence of a Jewish state.
  • And then there are other concerns: as with any other artificially created community the diaspora is a profoundly varied ‘group’.
  • Gloria Wekker offers an insightful perspective on female sexual behaviors in the diaspora that reflect both female and male Western sexual behavior.
1.1The dispersion of the Jews beyond Israel.
Example sentences
  • Historically, as we have seen, the concept of diaspora refers to the dispersion of the Jews as a scripturally narrativized spiritual experience.
  • Their experiences contribute another chapter to a small literature on the diaspora of Italian Jews to Australia as a result of Mussolini's racial decrees.
  • During the diaspora, as Jews left Palestine to settle in various parts of Europe, two distinctly Jewish languages emerged.
1.2The dispersion of any people from their original homeland: the diaspora of boat people from Asia
More example sentences
  • Both are waning, and neither is likely to fuel this great diaspora far beyond the year 2000.
  • If the Exodus of Miriam and the Jewish people goes back to the expulsion from Egypt and the history of the Diaspora, my own diaspora goes back to the departure from Chile, my small childhood paradise.
  • By the same token the hulls come to embody notions of flight, diaspora, immigration and emigration.
1.3The people so dispersed: the Ukrainian diaspora flocked back to Kiev
More example sentences
  • The role of the active production and consumption of various forms of media on the ethnic groups and diasporas has long been debated among scholars from different disciplines.
  • The institutional structures of colonial India frequently provided models for the organization of Indian classical music, first in India and then beyond in the diaspora.
  • The first stirrings came last week when it emerged Henry had gone beyond the normal Welsh diaspora to strengthen the squad.

The main diaspora began in the 8th-6th centuries bc, and even before the sack of Jerusalem in ad 70, the number of Jews dispersed by the diaspora was greater than that living in Israel. Thereafter Jews were dispersed even more widely throughout the Roman world and beyond.


Greek, from diaspeirein 'disperse', from dia 'across'+ speirein 'scatter'. The term originated in the Septuagint (Deuteronomy 28:25) in the phrase esē diaspora en pasais basileias tēs gēs 'thou shalt be a dispersion in all kingdoms of the earth'.

  • dialogue from Middle English:

    This comes via Old French and Latin from Greek dialogos, from dialegesthai ‘converse with, speak alternately’: the formative elements are dia- ‘through, across’ and legein ‘speak’. The tendency in English is to confine the sense to a conversation between two people, perhaps by associating the prefix dia- with di-. Dia- is also found in diameter (Late Middle English) ‘the measure across’; diaphanous (early 17th century) ‘shows through’; diaphragm (Late Middle English) a barrier that is literally a ‘fence through’, and diaspora (late 19th century) a scattering across.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: di·as·po·ra

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